Altered Perspectives in Trifles

Decent Essays

Perception involves the use of senses to assimilate information in situations, such as solving the mystery of a murdered husband in the play Trifles by Susan Glaspell. Perception, however, can be impaired by many things. For example, what is being concentrated on at any given moment, upbringing, social biases, and gender can all influence how different people perceive the world. A character analysis between the male and female roles in Trifles illustrates how gender disparities can skew perception, allowing what is right before one’s eyes to be essentially ignored by some of the characters. Glaspell illustrates the effect of gender on perception through her identification of the female characters, the male characters’ attitudes toward the women, and the bonding together of the fairer sex against the men’s patronization.

Glaspell introduces her audience to five characters on scene, and two that are never met, except through the conversation of the others. The male characters are introduced by first and last name and given a title. The female characters, aside from Minnie Wright, are introduced as Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters (1410). By only identifying the women by the name given to them through marriage, Glaspell has planted the impression that women derive their identity exclusively from their relationship to men. The women are left to gather things for Minnie Wright. Mr. Henderson, playing into the assumption that women are what men make them, comments, “Mrs. Peters doesn’t

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